How to Make the Change to Healthy Eating
A little food history
We human beings were designed to eat fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, fish and meat and depending on where we lived we adapted to what ever food was available. As hunter gatherers meat was a large portion of the diet but the hunter gatherers were also skilled in identifying edible vegetables and fruits giving them a diet with great variety and providing good health.
Once we learned to farm storage became the next important step in eating well all year round but with storage came the problem of rats, mold, disease, landownership and warfare. This advancement did little to improve health because there was no longer the great variety of food that provided all the nourishment needed to be healthy. Another problem was crop failure and due to land ownership they could no longer just pull up stakes and move to a place that provided more food.
As farming developed so did hierarchy and with hierarchy developed poverty. The rich ate well and the poor did not. Labor was now necessary and the poor did the labor. The problem is that the poor no longer had a balanced diet. Human communities became larger, the dwellings not always wholesome, added to the human and animal waste not properly dealt with promoted more diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis, diphtheria and the bubonic plague to name a few.
As cities got larger and the food and water supply was more contaminated the human condition took a turn for the worse. Many avoidable conditions developed due to poor nutrition such as scurvy and rickets.
Eventually we figured out the importance of a well balanced diet but the poor yesterday and today could not and cannot afford to purchase the meat, fruit, fish and vegetables needed to make them healthy.
Today we have all kinds of food available all year round. But now the problem is all the stuff that is added to food to make it taste better, last longer and stay fresh during transportation across the country and around the world. Animals have been bred to supply more meat such as chickens with breasts so big they cannot stand up. Antibiotics and hormones used to maintain these supper cows, pigs or chickens are ingested by people and that is not good for us -- especially children.
Today many of our food products are manufactured to be cheap. They are drained of nutrition and on top of that chemicals are added that we were never meant to put into our bodies. These products fill us up and taste good but at the same time they are keeping us from eating food that will make us healthy. The problem is we feel full but our body is starving for nutrition.
Step one -- Look at what you are eating -- is it fresh?
Look at what you are fixing for yourself or your family.
- Do you use a lot of boxed prepared food such as hamburger helpers, mac and cheese, cake mixes, pancake mixes, or instant mashed potatoes?
- Do you use cans of broth, chili, spaghetti sauce, or soup?
you use a lot of frozen food and dinners. Plain frozen vegetables and fruits that have
nothing added are good, but even frozen peas might have salt added, you need to
look out for the dinners and pouches of pre-made sauces.
It is not as hard as it seems to cook meals from scratch and take control of what goes into your food. Your food will be more wholesome and the money you save can be used to buy better quality products.
- Frozen vegetables are great, but some have salt added.
- Frozen vegetables in a cooking bag are good but expensive and some may have things added.
vegetables are good but the salt content may be high and contain things
you would not expect like HFCS High Fructose Corn Syrup. Read labels.
- Beef broth in a can may contain hydrolyzed soy protein, mono-sodium glutamate and caramel color and lots of salt so why not make your own, or read the label and pick one that has less of these ingredients – yes, it may cost more but this is your health we are talking about. I bought one can of broth that was pure and one can that had everything mentioned above as well as yeast extract and beef extract. For Gout sufferers yeast extract and beef extract are to be avoided. I was shocked to see how many chemicals were added to the one can and the other can of broth had none.
- Instant gravy in a jar has a list of ingredients that you cannot pronounce and is not likely to have just plain natural beef, turkey or chicken juices and spices and thickener – in fact it had nothing in it that I use to make gravy..
- Most instant food does not really save that much time and they may be loaded with artificial ingredients.
- In a day, or a week or a month the additives in processed food accumulate and while a little is not bad the effects of the lack of nutrients and all these chemicals accumulate – especially High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Step two - READ THE LABELS
Just by reading labels you can cut out a lot of chemicals that your body does not need or can be harmful such as HFCS High Fructose corn syrup, mono-sodium glutamate, or other items that you can’t pronounce and haven’t got a clue as to what it is.
There are many products today that are not loaded with additives and HFCS high fructose corn syrup. Choose the ones that are the most pure. In many cases there is very little price difference. You should especially avoid HFCS high fructose corn syrup because the latest research is showing it to cause metabolic diseases. It also raises the purine level that causes the uric acid to be increased and this is bad for gout sufferers.
Avoid drinks such a Sunny Delight for your children that have HFCS. Choose a brand that uses plain sugar because it is less harmful and no sugar is even better. Sunny Delight will go back to regular sugar only if they have to in order to get your business. There are many manufacturers who are eliminating HFCS from their products.
Step three -- Add as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you can
Take small steps to get where you want to be with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Depending on where you are with fresh fruit and vegetables it is important to get away from cans and packages and get to the fresh produce counter. A salad with a variety of vegetables is a great way to start. Common old lettuce is highly under rated for its high vitamin and mineral content. Cucumbers and tomatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals and anti-oxidants. Just adding a salad would insure a basic supply of essential vitamins and minerals.
Parsley is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. Chop up some fresh parsley and add it to everything you can (soup, mashed potatoes, salad and stew)
The beauty of nature
Nature has provided all the nutrients we need for good health -- all we need to do is eat it in the most natural state possible.
Cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, carrots, cabbage and green beans are easy to start with and cover a wide range of vitamins and minerals.